Re: The Coca-Cola Championship 2009/10 Season
Try and get a grown up to help you understand this...
I know all about Salman Rushdie, I know all about the fatwah issued against him. I also know it has NOTHING (BIG letters for you there, as it is an important point!) to do with Cardiff supporters adopting the ayatollah.
The Ayatollah celebration came into use at Cardiff City games in 1990. It was originally performed by the singer and fans of a Welsh-language punk group called U Thant. It was first performed by Cardiff City fans at Sincil Bank, home of Lincoln City, on September 15, 1990, the day after U Thant had played a gig at Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre. U Thant's singer had been inspired by footage of attendants at the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini, which was broadcast live on British TV, doing the movement to express their grief at his death.
It has been claimed that it was initially used as a sign of despair at the way the team were playing, but this is not true. In the era of inflatable balloons, it was simply a surrealist performance which looked good on the terraces. Cardiff at the time were struggling in the lower leagues, but it quickly became very popular with fans of the club and has since been used in terms of celebration and support for the team. Away games at Hereford United and Peterborough United in 1992 helped cement its place in the fans repertoire.
The start of the Ayatollah has often mistakenly been credited to former chairman Sam Hammam. This is likely due to the national coverage of Hammam performing the celebration pitchside and in front of the visiting Leeds fans, drawing criticism from then-Leeds manager David O'Leary, the Football Association and a BBC undercover report, following the now infamous 2-1 victory over Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup in 2002 which saw crowd trouble after final whistle.
The Ayatollah is now performed by the supporters of Cardiff City at every match. They, in turn, sing for each stand at their former home ground Ninian Park and current home ground Cardiff City Stadium to "Do the Ayatollah". During matches players performing well in the game or players who have just been brought on during the match are called to "Do the Ayatollah". Other people in the ground are also often called on to perform the move including the team's manager, away fans, former players on opposing sides (although managers of the teams have strongly discouraged it so it is rarely performed) and police officers on duty at the match.
Doing the Ayatollah has also become popular for famous Cardiff fans to do when celebrating. Ex-Wales rugby union team captain Gareth Thomas often performs the Ayatollah after scoring a try, swimmer David Davies performed the Ayatollah on the podium while receiving his medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and at the 2008 olympics and cricketer Simon Jones also used the celebration after taking the wicket of Simon Katich during the 2005 Ashes series. Mark Webster, winner of the 2008 BDO World Darts Championship, also performed the Ayatollah after winning the title. The Ayatollah has also been used by ice hockey fans of the Cardiff Devils when winning the Play-off Championship in 1999
Former Cardiff players and footballers who are fans of Cardiff have often performed the Ayatollah at the home grounds of the Bluebirds bitter rivals Swansea City. Ipswich Town midfielder Gavin Williams, a lifelong Cardiff fan, performed it at Vetch Field after scoring against them for his former club Yeovil Town and former Cardiff player Christian Roberts performed the Ayatollah when he scored against them at the Liberty Stadium after being verbally abused throughout the match for being a former Cardiff player.
But why let facts get in the way of a good lie?
Typical of a resident of a small town whose most famous resident ever is a dog.